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Documents needed for scholarship application 2020

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Documents needed for scholarship application 2020 – Securing a scholarship is never a rollercoaster, be it local or international award. Often times, the processes involved deter the feeble-minded students to apply or complete the application. Well, scholarship is meant for the resilient students, not quitters. This article is aimed at explaining the documents necessary for scholarship applications and the best time to start preparing for them.

To submit an outstanding application, you need to give in work, a whole lot of work. The majority of the work needed is centered on preparedness. Scholarship of different types come with different requirement depending on the donor. For clarity sake, I’ll be giving a comprehensive list of documents you may likely be required to provide before a scholarship can be awarded to you. If you work on these documents before applying for any scholarship opportunity, you will definitely submit a competitive application.

  • Passport copy
  • Abstract from previous project/thesis
  • Educational documents (transcript, Statement of result, certificate)
  • Academic resume or CV
  • Cover letter
  • Research proposal
  • Recommendation/Reference letter
  • Statement of Purpose or Personal Statement
  • Research plan/Study plan
  • Language Proficiency
  • Other supporting documents (Honors, Awards, publication, etc)

How to prepare for the documents

Here, I’ll explain the meaning of the above mentioned documents as well as provide useful information on how you can prepare them pending your type of application.


This is your international/nationality identity. A passport contains your personal information (age, occupation), residence and nationality. A passport copy can be obtained issued by your country’s immigration service. The duration may take up to 3-8months depending on your location. This simply means that if you want to apply for a scholarship that starts in the fall of 2020 for example, you should have applied for your passport copy months before this period to be on a safer side.

However, there are some scholarship opportunities that may not require this document as at the time of application, but must be obtained before a designated date.

 Educational Documents

If you’re aiming at applying for a scholarship, your educational documents bus one of the most important documents required. This contains your proof of educational career from primary to current education level as at the time of application. Most time, a school leaving certificate is not required but your High (Secondary) school certificate is very crucial. If you have certificates that need to be attested to or certified by some regulatory bodies or agencies, you need to make sure this is done before using it for application.

For those going for a Master’s program; an academic transcript from previous higher institution(s) attended is very much needed. This is sent by the previous school management to the desired one and a copy is given to the student involved. A Transcript is a compilation of all the undergraduate courses taken by the student and the total grade point.


For research-based advanced studies abstract from the previous project or thesis may be required by the prospective supervisor. This will highlight the academic background of his potential student as well as know if it aligns with his research interest or any of his previous research topics. In most cases, a prospective student might receive funding for the forthcoming research from the supervisor if the abstract from the previous research appears convincing.

Academic Resume or CV

This is like the normal work résumé save for its specificity to academic background. The content of this document may include the voluntary and professional certificates or publications obtained by the student. Academic résumé is sometimes not required by most scholarship providers. Nevertheless, there is a need for you to prepare for it on time. It contains an Intro, Contacts, Education, Experience (If any), Publications (if any), Certificates and skills.

Cover letter

This is a supporting document to your academic résumé or CV. Here you discuss your specific interest to why you’re applying for the scholarship. Its in form of a formal letter containing:

  • Head (To the Recruiter)
  • Subject
  • Explanation paragraph (which can be detailed in three sections)
  • Education and Experience
  • Capabilities or abilities (why they prefer you)
  • Sincerely

Statement of Purpose/Motivation Letter

scholarship application 2020

This is an opportunity to sell yourself to your recruiters or the scholarship provider. Statement of Purpose or Personal Statement or Motivational letter are almost the same. This document is very compulsory for undergraduate and postgraduate programs. Here is the summary point discussed in this document

  • Introduction (Short and Specific)
  • Education Details
  • Your Interest (what you want to do)
  • Your motivation (why you want to do what), the problems to be solved (be statistical here), and the Significance.
  • Goals
  • It can be up to 1 to 1.5 pages

Research Proposal

A research proposal is used to establish whether there is expertise to support your proposed area of research. For research-based program, it forms part of the assessment of applications. The research proposal you submit as part of your application is just the starting point because the proposed research is likely to change as your ideas evolve. This document should contain 2,000–3,500 words (3-5 pages) long.

Your Research proposal should consist of:

  • Title: The title of your research should give a clear indication of your proposed research approach. Do not meddle on this.
  • Background:  Discuss issues of your proposed research
  • Discipline: Narrow down your major if you have.
  • Brief literature review: Cite previous work that relates to your proposed research topic.
  • Summary of key debates and developments in the field. This might be from other people’s work that relates to yours.
  • Research Questions: Here you can formulate an explanation as to what problems and issues are to be explored and why they are worth exploring
  • Methodology: You discuss the procedure involved I’m your research, both the theoretical and practical aspects of it. Also, highlight the advantages as well as limitations encountered.
  • Timetable: Here you include an outline of the various stages and corresponding timelines for developing and implementing the research.
  • References: Give reference to the previous works you used in your research project.

Study Plan or Research Plan -Scholarship Application 2020

A study plan or research plan is your proposed (hypothetical) major, department, university, and country with a timeline Plan. This information might also be included in the statement of Purpose.

Here are the major points to be included in your study plan

  • Topic and major (why you chose this)
  • University (why you chose this)
  • Country (why you chose this)
  • Long Term Goals
  • Timetable Chart
  • References (if Applicable)

This document should not be more than 2 pages.

Language Proficiency – Scholarship Application 2020

This document is required pending on your nationality. Language Proficiency means your fluency in a required language which in most cases is English. If you are not a native speaker, the scholarship provider often requires you to submit an English language proficiency certificate. Some of the organization to get the English language test includes: IELTS, TOFEL, GRE…etc. If your performance is good after this test, you’ll be issued a certificate that contains the result of your test.

However, there is an alternative. In many scholarships, they may require an English Proficiency letter instead of an IELTS, TOFEL or GRE certificate.  This letter is provided by the management of the previous higher institution attended.  The letter should ascertain that the student obtained a degree at an institution where the medium of instruction or teaching is English.

Recommendation Letter – Scholarship Application 2020

This document is also very important in your application evaluation. Here, professors or lecturers from your higher institutions are required to give their evaluation points about your abilities, capabilities, attitude, behavior, academic prowess, and flexibility as well as other information that defines your personality.

The recommendation letter can be submitted in two ways:

Electronically: You need to put the details of your Professor or lecturer (Name, Position, Email), and an electronic email will be sent to your professor/lecturer for submission.

Manually or Pdf (Scan form): The letter written, printed, and signed by your professors with a stamp. The document is scanned and saved as a PDF file, then sent to the designated e-mail address or uploaded as appropriate.

Other Supporting Documents -Scholarship Application 2020

Other documents except for the above-listed ones which can support your application can be included even if they are not required. This may include your honors, awards, certificates, and publications. If they’re electronic document, you can attach the link to the document in your application.

Here you have it, the list of the documents required for scholarship Application 2020. For the documents that require writing, remember to avoid grammatical, tense, and punctuation errors. These common mistakes will adversely affect your application evaluation. Also, be mindful not to upload the wrong documents and review your application thoroughly before submitting!!!


This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Okpara Chidimma Phoebe

    What are the specific required documents for someone going for her first degree

    1. EuroAfConsults

      Hello Okpara Chidmma Phoebe,

      For first Degree (undergraduate degree), All you need is just your High School Certificate, your High School Academic Transcript. and a very good, well drafted Motivation Letter.

      Most times, Language proficiency is waived for students who studied in a country where the language of instruction is the same as the new country where they intend to go for studies. If this is not the case, then you will need to take a language proficiency test such as TOEFL, IELTS, TestDaf, etc., depending on which country you want to study.

      In addition, some schools/scholarships may require you to provide an attestation/recommendation letter from your high school teacher(s). The letter should be able to portray your strength, capacity, motivation for the intended course, your ability to learn in good speed, etc. Also, if you held any leadership position during your high school, or if you have worn some awards or prizes during your studies, they should be clearly stated in the recommendation letter.

    2. Anonymous

      To gain scholarship to study for undergraduate, I think you need to have a very good high school certificate.

      A very good, well detailed, and well organized motivation letter is also key. It should be carefully written and should explain your passion for the intended course/university of study.

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